What is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is a process of showing two versions of the same web page (landing page or ads) to different groups of website visitors simultaneously and comparing which version does better in driving more conversions.
A/B testing is also referred to as split testing.
Consider it as two versions competing against each other to arrive at a simple conclusion, i.e., which of the two versions convert better.
For instance, one version of your landing page may have a CTA (Call-To-Action) above the fold. The second version may display a catchy headline right upfront and have the CTA below the fold.
Do you want to know which of these versions convert better?
Simple. Run an A/B test!
As a marketer, knowing which version performs better helps you make informed decisions for your future campaigns, such as what headline works, what CTA works, and so on.
Before we get into the how, I’ve got a question to ask.
What are the key elements of a perfect landing page? You know, those landing pages (also referred to as sales page, squeeze page) that are created with a single agenda – to sell!
Here’s a list of the essential elements of a high-converting landing page:
- Killer headline with a supporting and persuasive sub-headline
- The USP – Unique Selling Proposition
- Benefits – how is the product/service going to solve the user’s problem(s)
- Features of the product/service
- High-quality product images or videos
- Story – address the problem and then the solution
- Social proof and testimonials
- A guarantee
- A call to action (CTA)
I’m assuming, having all these elements will help close the deal.
But hey, why assume when you can be sure. Right?
For that, let’s create two versions of our landing page (you can also try this with web pages and ads). Let’s mix and match the various key elements on our landing page.
Once we are done, let’s run a campaign for two separate groups of audience. Ideally, you will want to run the campaign for at least a week.
I’ve seen that’s when all your numbers really settle and fall in place. Again, this is just a personal choice.
Keep track of metrics such as click-throughs, conversions, traffic, bounce rate, and so on.
Is one of your campaigns performing better than the other? Well then, you must have got the right elements in the right place on that particular landing page.
Dig deeper into what those elements are and use them for your future campaigns as well. You may have just found your million-dollar high-converting sales funnel!
A/B testing gives you insights as to what words, images, videos, and other elements work best. Did you know that even the simplest of changes can impact your conversion rates?
One such A/B test showed that just changing the color of the CTA button, from green to red, improved conversion by 21%. (Source: HubSpot)
So, the next time you think you’re making a ‘minor’ update, think twice!
Just like a simple change in color can impact conversions, the various other elements in your marketing asset can impact your conversions just as much.
Whether it’s changing a single word in your headline copy, altering the location of your CTA, and so on, all this can eventually make a difference in the click-through rates.
What are the most impactful elements of your marketing asset?
Here’s a list of the most effective elements on your page.
Did you know that a user leaves within 10 seconds if they don’t find something that’s of value on your page?
The headline is the first thing people see when they land on your web page. Ensure the headline grabs your visitors’ attention.
That’s where copywriting comes into play. You know, those catchy headlines and one-liners that draw customer’s attention.
Try different versions of your headlines. See what’s working and what’s getting users to stick on your web page longer.
‘Buy Now’, ‘14-Day Free Trial’, ‘Free eBook’ – the ideal call to action entices users into taking immediate action.
Be it changing a word in your copy, or playing around with the button color, size or shape in your CTA, can influence conversion rates.
While carrying out an A/B test, consider changing one element at a time.
For instance, if you are changing the background color of your CTA in one, change the button size or copy in the other.
That way, you know what’s working and what’s not.
What got you to open an email?
Apart from the fact that it’s from a known contact, I’m guessing the subject of the email may have sparked some curiosity in you.
While research shows that the optimal length for an email subject line is about 41 characters, some experts believe that shorter is better.
A perfect email subject line is what decides if your email stays in the inbox or lands in the trash.
Well, the contents of the email matter too. But hey, what’s the point of having the best offer if we can’t get the user to open our email.
A/B test your email subject lines and monitor the open rates. Once you find a pattern that works, stick to it.
You could try the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer Studio tool to come up with the most optimal email subject lines.
Some commonly used tactics that work include the use of numbers, questions versus statements, the use of emojis, and so on.
Once you’ve mastered the art of creating those catchy email subject lines (or at least got a hang of it), the next bit is to A/B test your email content.
Do you send long-form email content? Does short form (bullet points) work? Do textual emails work in the first place or should we stick to well-designed email templates?
Fortunately, A/B testing your email is rather simple.
Send one version of the email to 50 percent of your subscribers and the other half a different version.
Look at the various metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, sign-ups, to access which of your emails is performing better.
What draws more attention? Images or videos?
Why guess. Run an A/B test! This way, you know what really works.
Create different versions of your web page. Include images in one and videos in the other.
You could also consider one version with audio, like a podcast.
Does long product description work or the short ones?
While short product descriptions work best, carry out A/B testing to be the best judge of it.
Have you seen those product descriptions on shopping websites such as Amazon and Flipkart? The ones where you have the product descriptions in easy-to-digest listicles (bullet points).
I’m not saying do away with the long-form. Nope.
Instead, have an even mix of both forms of content.
The short ones are for those who’d like to make a quick purchase and the long-form for those who’d like to know more, before purchasing.
Which of the two works best? Well, you know by now. Carry out A/B testing!
Create one version that has just the short description, while the other has a long product description.
Do you check the online reviews of a product before making a purchase? I definitely do!
Well, nearly nine out of ten consumers read online reviews before making a purchase.
Also, those product pages that include customer reviews witness 3.5 times higher conversions than those without. (Source: Oberlo)
Just to harp on the fact that including social proofs and testimonials on your product pages, landing pages surely helps increase conversions.
Then again, what’s the ideal number of testimonials to showcase? Does including customer photos add to the conversions? Should star ratings be displayed?
A/B test the various elements in your pages and decide for yourself.